With screen time increasing and aspiring esports superstars practicing more and more, we need to ensure we are looking after our bodies so that we can compete at the highest level. Think Lebron James and Tom Brady. Both of these superstars are considered greats, if not the greatest, in their respective sports—this doesn’t mean they spend all day playing in order to improve.
There are other aspects of performance that have long been overlooked. Making small changes can help to increase your reaction times, reduce fatigue or simply allow you to cope with intense situations better. One of the easiest ways to start reaping these benefits is stretching. We have put together a quick list of the most appropriate exercises you can do during the session of your favorite competitive or casual game.
Stretch 1: Wrist Extensions
Making minor movements with your wrists is the norm for gamers, this can cause tension that when built up over a long time can cause harm. The wrist extension stretch takes just a few seconds to master. Simply stretch your arms out in front of you, stick your hand out like you are about to high five your monitor or tv and pull the fingers back towards you with the opposite hand. You should immediately feel the stretch in your forearm and wrist area. Repeat on both sides.
Stretch 2: Triceps
You may think you are only moving your wrist, but your arms are also moving and the triceps almost always have something to do with it. Like the wrist extension, stretching your triceps is very simple. Raise one arm up on the air and drop your hand down behind your head, leaving your elbow pointing into the sky. Second, use your opposite hand to gently push your arm lower down your back. You should feel the stretch immediately in your shoulders and the back of your arm. Repeat on both sides.
Stretch 3: Spinal Twist
This can be tricky in a rotating chair or a low couch but, it can still be done. If you have armrests to grab hold of, fantastic! If not, make sure you sit up tall and reach across your body with one hand and grab the opposite knee. Slowly pull your body around, keeping your back up tall and twist. Make sure you rotate your entire upper body, keeping the head aligned with your shoulders. Repeat to both sides.
Stretch 4: Front and Side of Neck
Pro tip: Take your headset off before doing this, after all, it isn’t the headset that needs stretching! Place your hands firmly on your desktop or knees and slowly tilt your head to the side. Make sure you are sitting up tall and try to keep your shoulders down in the same spot. This is where the stretch will begin. Once you get more confident, try dropping your shoulder down whilst your head is tilted to the other side to increase the stretch. Repeat to both sides.
Stretch 5: Side of Spine
Posture is again important here. Ensure you are sitting up tall, raise one arm up and curve it over your head like you are forming a moon shape. Slowly lean further to the side until you start to feel the stretch in your side and back. The first few times this may feel uncomfortable but you will be able to go further each time. Repeat on both sides.
Bonus points: Do quick workouts on loading screens, when you’re waiting in a queue or, camping on the edge of the storm for the end game. Take the short downtime to get up and go for a quick walk around, push out a few pushups, grind through some sit-ups or stretch the hamstrings. It all adds up and can be the difference between you coming second or claiming victory.
Combining all of these stretches together into a quick routine may not guarantee the victory, but it will put your body in a position to keep healthy, recover better and also loosen up those muscles that you have been putting to work day in and out. As a wise little developer once told us, “Enjoy the game with your friends but don’t forget to enjoy outside the game with them too.”
This article has been brought to you by the Queensland Government